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Strategic planning and foresight: the case of Smart Specialisation Strategy in Tuscany

Emanuele Fabbri (Planning and Evaluation Officer, Tuscany Region, Florence, Italy)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 12 September 2016



Within the theoretical framework of Regional Innovation Systems, the purpose of the paper is to introduce an innovative methodological scheme for strategic planning decisions in public administrations, based on foresight, roadmapping and large participation processes.


Starting from the main literature contribution on Regional Innovation Systems, foresight and decision-making processes, an innovative methodology has been elaborated for strategic planning, based on innovation and large participation processes. A practical application is also described with regards to strategic planning in Tuscany (IT) for Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3).


On a practitioner perspective, the methodology elaborated addresses strategic planning uncertainties, both when problem setting and in solution finding; a detailed application is provided, easily to be adapted to other regions, and main findings are related to regional innovation governance enforcement.

Research limitations/implications

Being the Tuscany S3 in the implementation phase, it is not possible to verify the adequacy of alternatives selected. Only mid-term evaluations will allow a deeper insight on the effectiveness of the methodology adopted.

Practical implications

The methodology represents a useful tool for public administrations in charge of strategic planning and in particular for S3, as an ex ante requirement for European Structural and Investment Funds. The description of the case of Tuscany provides practical hints for the methodology application.

Social implications

The methodology presents interesting social implications related to the large involvement of stakeholders and quadruple helix within regional strategic planning.


Within the framework of Regional Innovation Systems, strategic planning decisions are addressed with a scheme based on foresight and large participation processes. European Commission requirements are fully taken into consideration by the methodology. The methodology is easy to be adopted and customised to specific needs of other regions.



Fabbri, E. (2016), "Strategic planning and foresight: the case of Smart Specialisation Strategy in Tuscany", Foresight, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 491-508.



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